May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog Archived Catalog

Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)

AHPT 105 - Introduction to Physical Therapist Assisting

Credit(s): 3

This course gives the student an overview of the Physical Therapy profession by providing a historical perspective, as well as an understanding of its philosophy in relation to the professional organization; an overview of the roles of the Physical Therapy staff members in the clinical settings as well as members of the health care team in various delivery systems; development of interpersonal communication skills relating to the profession; and an understanding of the commitment of the graduate to continued personal and professional development. This course provides an overview of ethical and legal issues relating to the role of the PTA in health care delivery. It includes such topics as financing of physical therapy; regulations governing PTA’s; code of ethics; the purpose of documentation and types of medical records; an introduction to evidence-based paractice and professional literature; and scope of PT and PTA practice. (Spring Semester)

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to
  • Demonstrate an awareness of effective communication strategies and the ability to educate others when interacting with patients/clients, caregivers, family members, payers, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Identify the physical therapist assistant’s role as part of the health care team and the importance of effective interaction and collaboration with other disciplines in providing patient-centered care.
  • Identify the different types of communication (verbal, non-verbal, and written) and the need to adapt communication styles in response to patients’/clients’ differences and needs.
  • Identify and respect individual differences in patients/clients, family members, and other health care workers.
  • Differentiate between legal and ethical issues and identify the various sources of law affecting the practice of physical therapy including state practice acts, federal laws and regulations, and concepts relating to health care malpractice.
  • Evaluate and explain the differences between two state physical therapy practice acts.
  • Recognize when it is necessary to report to appropriate authorities suspected cases of abuse of vulnerable populations and identify how to locate mandatory reporting laws.
  • Recognize the duty to report suspected cases of fraud and abuse related to the utilization of and payment for physical therapy and other health care services.
  • Describe behaviors that are consistent with the APTA’s Guide for Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant and the Standards of Ethical Conduct to meet the expectations of patients, members of the physical therapy profession, and other providers.
  • Explain the importance for a physical therapist assistant to perform duties in a manner consistent with the APTA’s Values Based Behaviors for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
  • Implement, in response to an ethical situation, a plan of action that demonstrates sound moral reasoning congruent with core professional ethics and values.
  • Examine and discuss issues and trends in physical therapy education, issues relevant to physical therapist assistants, direct access and referral for profit, and issues and specifics of informed consent, confidentiality, and liability.
  • Describe the relationship between the physical therapist’s examination and evaluation and the role of the Physical Therapist Assistant in the implementation of the PT’s plan of care.
  • Differentiate among the roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, support personnel, and PT and PTA students within the clinical setting.
  • Compare and contrast aspects of physical therapy services for different physical therapy delivery settings, including aspects of organizational planning and operation of the physical therapy service.
  • Differentiate between short and long term goals and identify the importance of the physical therapist assistant’s ability to appropriate progress delegated interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Describe the purpose of documentation and the different types of medical records, including how documentation may need to be adapted to address individual third party payer, facility or regulatory requirements.
  • Describe the relationship between health care providers and third party payers such as Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Identify basic concepts in professional literature including: peer-reviewed journals, hierarchy/ levels of evidence, validity, reliability, level of statistical significance.
  • Identify and locate appropriate evidence-based resources on a physical-therapy related topic.
  • Apply knowledge of AMA style of referencing when citing professional resources.
  • Explain the history, role, objectives, structure and relevance of membership of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Montana chapter of the APTA.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to obtaining the necessities in meeting patients’ and consumers’ needs and recognize social responsibility, advocacy, and the importance of participation in community and service organizations and activities.
  • Accurately describe aspects of lifelong learning, leadership opportunities, and continuing education requirements to assist with performance improvement activities for the administration of physical therapy services. Identify career development and lifelong learning opportunities to assist with performance improvement activities for the administration of physical therapy services, including the role of the physical therapist assistant in the clinical education of physical therapist assistant student.

Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)